“Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.”
I asked Nancy for a word. “Restless,” she said. It’s possible that she meant “rest-less”, because we’re both pretty tired. I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean “rest less”, because there isn’t currently an overabundance.
But I’m comfortable with restless because, as it appears in Psalm 55, it captures where I was feeling in my conversations with God at the moment.
I spent time with a family who is waiting for clarity in diagnosis. They are “restless in their complaint.” Not because of a friend who has betrayed them, the pain at the heart of this psalm. But no one can quite figure out the causes of the current condition. They feel, a little, like God’s hiding from their plea for mercy.
They have a confidence of God, in God. But that doesn’t mean that their hearts aren’t aching for an answer.
As I sat with them, listened with them, talked with them, and then prayed with them, I shared in the tears. My request wasn’t an objective “God who has all power, we acknowledge that you have your will and need not our request that you do it.” Nope. It was more like “God. This hurts. My friends need your help. More than wisdom or peace, they’d like him healed. So we ask for that.”
Their’s wasn’t the only moment like that in the day, in the lives of people I love, maybe in your life. (As I write, I’m mindful of you, and you, and you who are restless in your complaint.) I just wanted to let you know you aren’t alone.
The honesty of that whole Psalm is searing. It’s worth reading. Psalm 55.